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Thoughts on a Simplified Shotgun gatling gun


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#1 akw_921

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 03:29 AM

I would like to first say that I am knew to this forum and this topic has already been addressed. I would like to eventually be able to build a 12 gauge Gatling gun. Given my current mechanical skill level that is not something I should take on. I have thought of something much simpler and would like to your opinions. I would like to build a 6 or 8 barreled 12 gauge that would be a a simplified gatling. The barrels would be mounted like a standard gatling. Rather than have a mechanism to extract and reload for continued fire it would be reloaded after all rounds were fired. There would be a fixed plate even with the breech of the barrels. A back plate that had bolt faces and firing pins for each barrel would be secured to the plate attached at the breech. An articulatig arm would pass over a cam system the firing pin of the barrel would be struck by the arm. So as it rotates the arm would rise and fall firing one round at a time. Basically I want to create a crank fired gatling type gun. It would mainly be a novelty and a stepping stone to making a true 12 gauge gatling gun. Aside from the difficulty to reload does anyone see any other flaws in the concept. I would like to learn more about the building of a gatling gun and I think this build would be a good first project. Is this something that has been done before. Thank you for taking the time to read this and your responses and advice will be greatly appreciated.

#2 shred

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 04:13 AM

I would like to first say that I am knew to this forum and this topic has already been addressed. I would like to eventually be able to build a 12 gauge Gatling gun. Given my current mechanical skill level that is not something I should take on. I have thought of something much simpler and would like to your opinions. I would like to build a 6 or 8 barreled 12 gauge that would be a a simplified gatling. The barrels would be mounted like a standard gatling. Rather than have a mechanism to extract and reload for continued fire it would be reloaded after all rounds were fired. There would be a fixed plate even with the breech of the barrels. A back plate that had bolt faces and firing pins for each barrel would be secured to the plate attached at the breech. An articulatig arm would pass over a cam system the firing pin of the barrel would be struck by the arm. So as it rotates the arm would rise and fall firing one round at a time. Basically I want to create a crank fired gatling type gun. It would mainly be a novelty and a stepping stone to making a true 12 gauge gatling gun. Aside from the difficulty to reload does anyone see any other flaws in the concept. I would like to learn more about the building of a gatling gun and I think this build would be a good first project. Is this something that has been done before. Thank you for taking the time to read this and your responses and advice will be greatly appreciated.


Where are you located? Shotgun Gatlings are going to be a gray area in the US due to the NFA rules and the 'sporting purposes' clause for over .50 cal. Can be done, but you'd be better off getting some advice from ATF first.

You might look around over on the blackpowder cannon section of the GBO site. There's a guy there that did one that used percussion caps and was muzzle-loaded. BP and caps makes the legal side a lot easier.

#3 akw_921

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 05:21 AM

I got the inspiration for the shotgun after seeing the black powder. I'm in Oklahoma. My dad knows some people in the atf so hopefully he can get a definite answer on legality. I would think 12 gauge would be an ideal round for a gatling is the legal gray area keeping people from building them.

#4 akw_921

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 05:23 AM

Would there be the same legal issues with a 12 gauge gardner. I just like the idea of using shotshell because they are cheap and easy to reload.

#5 shred

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 02:11 PM

Would there be the same legal issues with a 12 gauge gardner. I just like the idea of using shotshell because they are cheap and easy to reload.

Yes. If you don't know that, may I suggest you do some more research?

ATF has the power to declare anything over .50 cal as 'non-sporting' and place it into the Destructive Device category. 12ga is well over .50.

I don't know what the odds are they would for a one-off, but do you want to be the test-case without at least a letter to back you up?

#6 42rocker

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 02:14 PM

So how about a re-loadable 410 shotshell? Or 16 or 20 or ? whatever would work. As Shred pointed out - do you want to be a test case??

Myself going to follow what has been done before. 22LR

Later 42rocker

#7 akw_921

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 03:02 AM

Based on previous comments I am no longer considering using a 12 gauge cartridge. Does anyone have any knowledge of previous gun builds that have used shot shell cartridges. Aside from a reduced affective range would the use of shotshell rounds present any unique problems. Also what are your thoughts on the simplified gatling as a substitute to the complicated true gatling. It would just be a novelty item used only a few times. Would it be worth adapting the black powder pepper mill design so that sub .50" shotgun cartridges can be used. Is there anyone out there that has built something similar and has any suggestions.

I apologize if the non continuous feed rotating barrel gun is not a topic for this gatling forum.

#8 42rocker

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 09:11 PM

Just found this thread

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=23

Later 42rocker

#9 saki302

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 10:41 PM

Building from scratch, I'd pick something cheap and easy to reload.

.38/357 would be neat, and semi-scale (rimmed like .45-70).
You could run .38 shotshells in it too, though I don't see why you'd want to. hard cast lead .38s are much cheaper (and quicker) to reload than 12ga IMO.

-Dave

#10 Bill Akins

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 11:52 AM

akw_921 wrote:
The barrels would be mounted like a standard gatling. Rather than have a mechanism to extract and reload for continued fire it would be reloaded after all rounds were fired. There would be a fixed plate even with the breech of the barrels. A back plate that had bolt faces and firing pins for each barrel would be secured to the plate attached at the breech. An articulatig arm would pass over a cam system the firing pin of the barrel would be struck by the arm. So as it rotates the arm would rise and fall firing one round at a time.


You just described the "Ripley" gun, invented by Ezra Ripley that has multiple barrels that looks like a Gatling, but the barrels are singly loaded and do not reload themselves, are fixed so they don't rotate, and an articulating crank arm passes over a cam at the rear of the barrels and then falls striking the percussion cap on the nipple of each barrel. There's a little more to it than that, but that's a basic simplistic description. Same exact thing you described that you want to make. It was a precursor to the Gatling and no doubt Gatling studied it, if not in fact ripped off the basic design of Ripley's and just made the barrels rotate and also reload itself in a manner like the Ager/Coffee mill gun. Google "Ripley gun".

I am working on a design of mine that will utilize two inverted, Winchester model 50, 12 gauge shotguns, that will be hopper fed, secured side by side in a faux common receiver that legally is just a supporting device (stock), and have a common water jacket, that will be crank fired and tripod mounted. The shells will eject to the left via a cutout on the supporting device/faux receiver for the left gun, and there will be a shell deflector for the right gun so that the right gun's shell is deflected downward so it falls out the open bottom of the faux receiver/supporting device. It will look somewhat like the double barreled, water cooled (first water cooled gun in history) "Gardner gun" invented by David Gardner, (google it), only instead of everything working via turning a crank, mine will be two semi auto Win model 50's that only use a crank to function their triggers.

Much lighter and easier to build than a Gatling and the water jacket cools the twin barrels instead of relying on the much heavier many more multiple barrels system of a Gatling for cooling. Capable of fired both barrels simultaneously or sequentially. And since I am using two already existing shotguns, if I set the crank to fire them simultaneously, it won't be a machine gun because it is legally two separate shotguns that are just both firing at the same time, if I set the crank that way. No different legally than if you fired two semi auto shotguns in each hand at the same time. Whereas if you created a totally new firearm from scratch that that fired both barrels at the same time, according to ATF court testimony, that would be a machine gun.

I am not creating a new firearm, instead I am simply utilizing what legally is a supporting device (stock) that two already existing Winchester model 50 inverted shotguns fit into. It will take some time before I get it done. I just secured my first Win model 50 and am looking for another one to get started. If you'd like to read a bit more about my design for this check out my various posts at this thread's link. Also be sure to read post #10 at the below link for some interesting pictures of the Gardner gun and some of my water cooled and air cooled crank fired Ruger 10/22 supporting devices (stocks) I've built. Now I just want to invert the gun and use two of them side by side to do the same thing as in my Ruger 10/22's.....only hopper fed and in 12 gauge.
http://thefiringline...d.php?p=5613550

This will be way easier to build than a Gatling, since I am utilizing two already existing semi-auto shotguns, much lighter too but will no doubt fire just as fast if not faster. My inspiration for this was the three crank fire prototypes I have built for the Ruger 10/22 (that you can see in my pics at the above link), coupled with the twin barrels and water jacket of the Gardner gun.



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#11 42rocker

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 02:33 PM

Bill
Good to see you here and posting again. Enjoyed seeing you at the shoot that I hosted a few weeks ago.
So this is the weapon that we talked about on the phone last time. Well still going to try to build a straight Gatling Gun at this time. I'll look forward to hearing and maybe seeing what's up with this at the next shoot that I host. Still working on trying to get a date set in writing. If your in the Central Fla area and want to go to a Builders and Belt Fed Shoot drop me a pm and we will go from there.

Later 42rocker

#12 Bill Akins

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 10:37 PM

Bill
Good to see you here and posting again. Enjoyed seeing you at the shoot that I hosted a few weeks ago.
So this is the weapon that we talked about on the phone last time. Well still going to try to build a straight Gatling Gun at this time. I'll look forward to hearing and maybe seeing what's up with this at the next shoot that I host. Still working on trying to get a date set in writing. If your in the Central Fla area and want to go to a Builders and Belt Shoot drop me a pm and we will go from there.

Later 42rocker



Thanks Tim, your efforts at organizing the shoots are much appreciated. We always have a blast (both figuratively and literally) at your shoots.
Yep, that's the weapon I was talking about. Gatlings are great but they are very heavy. Looking back at history the Gardner gun was actually superior to a Gatling in many ways. It was much lighter so that one man could pick it up and carry it. It solved the cooling problem via a water jacket over two barrels rather than relying on multiple barrels for cooling (vastly reducing weight). It has less parts than a Gatling. England and many other countries adopted the Gardner while the U.S. (always behind on rapid fire weapons in those days) stuck with the Gatling, chiefly because at that time the U.S. already had Gatlings and didn't have any out of country wars going on so the U.S. armaments board didn't see a need to purchase Gardner guns even though they were superior in many ways to the Gatling. There were single barrel, dual barrel, five barrel and even more barreled Gardners, but my favorite for weight and firepower is the twin barrel water cooled model.

I would like to take the Gardner gun one step further. In that instead of relying on the crank to operate all aspects of the firearm, instead the crank just functions the triggers on two separate semi auto shotguns that are side by side and water cooled like the Gardner. In that way it would fire much faster than the original Gardner and be easier to crank since instead of the cranking operating the bolts, loading, extracting, ect, the cranking would just function the triggers on two semi auto shotguns. And thus no operating mechanism to build since the two semi auto shotguns already have that covered. All I have to do is mount them inverted (for hopper feeding) and side by side so one water jacket cools both barrels, into a supporting device (stock) that holds them for attaching to a tripod. The hardest thing to do is going to be the hopper feed to make sure it feeds properly without the shells jamming. I don't do anything fast, so it will take some time to get this built. Just got one Win model 50 and need another one before I even start any fabricating of the supporting device, hopper feed and water jacket.

Tim's shoots are always a lot of fun and a nice group of people. As he said, if you are in central Fl, and want to come to a belt fed shoot and builder's shoot, and enjoy shooting and hanging out with a nice group of people like that (that isn't overcrowded like most MG shoots are), drop Tim (42Rocker) a p.m. to see when his next shoot is going to be.


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#13 Bill Akins

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 10:55 PM

Couple of more pics of the Gardner gun. In studying the Gardner I have dozens of pics of all models of the Gardner guns.
Can't sling a full size Gatling over the shoulder like the Victorian soldier is doing in the below pic. Gatlings are fun and the .22 LR versions are smaller and less weight than either a full size Gatling or Gardner. But for full size, hand cranked guns, the Gardner wins in all respects (at least in Victorian times, no comparison to today's electrically powered/driven Vulcan cannons or G.E. miniguns).

#14 42rocker

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 11:44 PM

Bill
Thanks for those kind words. If you would like to join us at our shoot and meet some nice folks and talk about this stuff drop me a pm. Bill is always ready to talk about his new stuff and the Gardner gun.

Later 42rocker

#15 Bill Akins

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 11:57 PM

akw_921, I neglected to include a picture of the Ripley gun for you in my previous post where I told you that you were describing the Ripley gun. So here's a picture of the exact same thing you described that you want to build. It is Ezra Ripley's muzzleloading gun that obviously Richard Gatling studied. It has a crank at the rear that when you operate it, it causes a striker to go over a cam and fall to hit the percussion caps on the barrels. The barrels do not move. It is exactly to the "T" the type of gun you described that you would like to build. It would be nice to see you build this, I haven't personally seen any replicas of the Ripley gun. So google the "Ripley gun" and study it because that's exactly what you described you want to build. Here's a pic of it.

Ezra Ripley's muzzleloading percussion gun. It resembles the much later Gatling, but does not "feed" cartridges but each barrel is loaded separately and then the crank in the rear is turned so that it raises a striker on a cam and then the striker falls setting off each barrel's percussion cap. It is obvious that Gatling just utilized the much earlier Ripley basic design but made the barrels rotate and added a feed mechanism to it. Of course rotating the barrels and timing that all out and making a feed mechanism for it was no small feat by Gatling, so gotta give him his proper deserve. But equally gotta give Ripley his deserves too, there is no doubt the Ripley gun was the inspiration for Gatling and perhaps Gatling studied the union Ager gun for the hopper feed inspiration.

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